My Name Is Khan movie: Solid box office in spite of – or because – threats of attacks
Like Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, My Name Is Khan, directed by Karan Johar and starring Bollywood idol Shah Rukh Khan (a.k.a. Shahrukh Khan), is a recent release that seemingly has benefited from widespread controversy.
Currently screening at about 1,570 venues worldwide, in its first 10 days out My Name Is Khan collected $25 million, most of that on its first weekend, when the furor and threats of attacks at movie houses showing the film in India were very much in the news. The film has also been heralded as the most successful Indian release ever in North America.
The 2h45m tale of a man (Shah Rukh Khan) with Asperger Syndrome who who wants to meet U.S. President Barack Obama while suffering discrimination in the United States because of his Muslim-sounding name, on its opening weekend My Name Is Khan broke Bollywood records in the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, Australia, and New Zealand.
Hindu nationalist outrage results in fat box office receipts
That was following a major political uproar – unbelievably – caused by Khan’s remark that India’s Premier League cricket team didn’t have any Pakistanis in it. In response, the nationalist Hindu party Shiv Sena attacked both Khan and his film.
On its second weekend out, after things had cooled down, My Name Is Khan dropped 69 per cent at the North American box office and 55 percent worldwide.
20th Century Fox, My Name Is Khan‘s international distributor, expects it to reach $30 million worldwide – not an inconsiderable sum for a Bollywood production. In India, it remained the top movie this past weekend, with $3.6 million and an outstanding $18.6 million cume as per Screen International.
According to Rediff, the biggest Bollywood release ever at the North American box office is Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots, starring another Khan – Aamir Khan of the Oscar-nominated Lagaan. 3 Idiots has taken in $6.53 million since its late Dec. 2009 debut.
According to a Reuters report, the Friday opening of Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan forced movie theaters in Mumbai to be turned into “fortresses,” with thousands of police in riot gear outside theaters and plainclothesmen inside the halls. Reason for all that protection: flag-waving Hindu fanatics who now have star Shah Rukh Khan as their Enemy No. 1 after the actor remarked that no Pakistani cricketers had been picked for the Indian Premier League. The radical nationalist Hindu Shiv Sena party, which runs the Mumbai municipality, is a fierce opponent of Muslim Pakistan.
In My Name is Khan, which is being screened out of competition at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival, Khan plays an autistic Muslim who suffers discrimination in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was ironic, Khan was quoted as saying, that “a film made for peace ‘has led to so much angst in my own house. My city. My country. Am I political or politically incorrect?'”
Mumbai is home to the Bollywood film industry, and some political analysts have warned the Sena’s radicalism may hurt Mumbai’s image abroad. Others targeted by the party include industrialist billionaire Mukesh Ambani and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
Here’s an interesting piece on how My Name Is Khan may profit from the controversy.
March 24 update re: ‘My Name Is Khan’:
Shahrukh Khan’s My Name Is Khan and its impact in both India and Pakistan is discussed at length in a very interesting piece at Despardes. In it, the author (I couldn’t find a byline) talks about the furor that followed Khan’s remarks about India’s Pakistani-less cricket team and how the Karan Johar-directed My Name Is Khan is perceived differently by Indian and Pakistani audiences.
“This film certainly resonates with Pakistani audiences because of its theme,” the author explains, “it tells the story of an autistic Muslim man’s struggles against prejudices in the United States in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The big applause line in Pakistan comes at the beginning, when Khan proclaims, ‘My name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist!'”
At the U.K. box office, My Name Is Khan has scored a remarkable $3.8 million. Among other Bollywood titles at the U.K. box office are Ajay Devgan’s Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? with $170,000 and Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots with $2.77 million.
In the U.S., My Name Is Khan‘s total grosses currently stand at $3.975 million.
Box office: Controversy to help or hinder Roman Polanski thriller ‘The Ghost Writer’?
Feb. 22, ’10, update: Controversy sells. At least sometimes it does. Roman Polanski, under house arrest in Switzerland while fighting extradition to the United States on charges of having drugged and had sex with a minor in the late 1970s, was named Best Director at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival for The Ghost Writer, a political thriller starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, and Kim Cattrall.
This past weekend (Feb. 19-21), The Ghost Writer had the highest per-theater average by far at the domestic box office: $45,752 at four theaters in New York and Los Angeles, for a total of $183,009 according to figures found at Boxofficemojo.com.
Some, including a number of people commenting on Alt Film Guide’s Roman Polanski articles, have affirmed that those who watch Polanski’s movies – be it Chinatown, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Tess, Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, or The Pianist – are aiding a child rapist. Some among them have gone as far as to vow that they would boycott the work of all of the dozens of celebrities who have signed petitions demanding Polanski’s release.
Yet, considering the initial box office grosses of The Ghost Writer, there are clearly many moviegoers who don’t see things quite the same way. Besides, one of the Free Roman Polanski signatories was Martin Scorsese, whose Shutter Island grossed more than $40 million at the U.S. and Canada box office this past weekend.
Rave reviews for The Ghost Writer
U.S. (and U.K.) critics, for their part, have been mostly enthralled with Polanski’s latest.
In The Christian Science Monitor, Peter Rainer called The Ghost Writer a “deft political thriller … [that is] equal parts comedy and black comedy. Gracefully, inexorably, it goes from silly to scabrous. The film may seem insubstantial while you’re watching it, but, in its own tingly, deadpan way, it has many of Polanski’s trademarks: a curdling, cruel humor; an outsider hero who is also a patsy; and a pervasive dread.”
Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times:
Between his September arrest in Switzerland and the media rehashing of the case that made him flee the U.S. in the first place, it’s been possible to forget that his powerful gifts as a filmmaker were what made him famous in the first place.
With the deliciously unsettling The Ghost Writer, however, a dark pearl of a movie whose great flair and precision make it Polanski’s best work in quite a while, the 76-year-old director forcefully reminds us what all the fuss was about.
Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian:
Roman Polanski’s latest movie happens to be about a public figure, once hugely admired, now disgraced, fearing extradition and prosecution and confined to virtual house arrest in a vacation spot for rich people.
Did the director, when he shot this film, get a chill presentiment of how personal it was all going to look? Maybe. But it didn’t stop him making a gripping conspiracy thriller and scabrous political satire, a Manchurian Candidate for the 2010s, as addictive and outrageous as the Robert Harris bestseller on which it’s based. … This is his most purely enjoyable picture for years, a Hitchcockian nightmare with a persistent, stomach-turning sense of disquiet, brought off with confidence and dash.
Don’t be too surprised if Roman Polanski ends up getting an Academy Award nomination in early 2011. That’s certainly not impossible; he was nominated for Tess two years after fleeing the United States and won an Oscar for The Pianist in early 2003.
Tony Blair: Inspirational figure
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was the inspiration for the shady character played by Pierce Brosnan in The Ghost Writer. However, unlike The Ghost Writer‘s fictional former PM (or Roman Polanski, for that matter), Blair isn’t under any sort of court-imposed or self-imposed seclusion.
In fact, despite a Iraq War inquiry held in the U.K. a few weeks ago, Iraq War co-orchestrator Blair – approximately 100,000 Iraqi civilians dead since the 2003 invasion – was just recently in Liberia and is now in Nigeria.
The Ghost Writer cast
Besides Ewan McGregor in the title role, Pierce Brosnan, and Kim Cattrall, The Ghost Writer features the following:
Best Actor Oscar nominee Tom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom, 2001).
Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People, 1980).
Veteran Eli Wallach (How the West Was Won, Act One).
James Belushi. Jeff Burrell. Robert Pugh.
Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol My Name Is Khan image: 20th Century Fox.
Pierce Brosnan The Ghost Writer image: Summit Entertainment.
The Hurt Locker Oscar Controversy: Producer Nicolas Chartier vote-soliciting email
Feb. 27 update
The Hurt Locker producer Nicolas Chartier will be facing some sort of punishment from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following multiple e-mails he sent out asking Academy members to vote for the Kathryn Bigelow-directed Iraq War drama and not an unnamed “$500 million film” widely known as Avatar as the Best Picture of 2009. The Academy will refrain from announcing the penalty until after the voting deadline ends next Tuesday.
According to an Associated Press report, Chartier’s initial e-mail was sent Feb. 19. He later followed suit with other e-mails giving more detailed instructions on how Academy voters should fill in their Best Picture ballots, with The Hurt Locker on top and Avatar at the bottom of the list.
The Hurt Locker distributor Summit Pictures declared in a statement that it was “completely unaware of any e-mails that were sent until we were alerted by the academy earlier this week,” while the film’s screenwriter Mark Boal told the Los Angeles Times blog 24 Frames, “I knew nothing about it, I think it’s incredibly stupid and wrong and I hope he stops.”
Chartier later issued a mea culpa, but that may have been a little too late. As mentioned before at Alt Film Guide and elsewhere, in all likelihood nothing will happen to The Hurt Locker. It’ll remain in the running. Chartier may lose his tickets for the Oscar ceremony, but that may well be about it – unless the Academy decides not to invite him to join their ranks later in the year.
Ironically, Chartier had to fight to be included among the film’s nominated producers – Boal, Bigelow, and Greg Shapiro are the others – as Academy rules prevent a Best Picture nominee from having more than three producers in the Oscar race except under extraordinary circumstances. According to various reports, Chartier put up most of the financing for The Hurt Locker.
20th Century Fox, James Cameron, and others involved the making and distribution of Avatar have thus far kept mum about the issue.
Photo: The Hurt Locker (Jonathan Olley / Summit Entertainment)
Remember the backlash following former Academy president and two-time Best Director Oscar winner Robert Wise’s ad asking Academy members to vote for Martin Scorsese’s Miramax release Gangs of New York back in early 2003? You don’t? Well, apparently neither does Voltage Pictures producer Nicolas Chartier, whose The Hurt Locker is the favorite to win this year’s Best Picture Academy Award after bagging the BAFTA for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, and top awards from the Producers Guild, the Directors Guild, and the Writers Guild. [See Robert Wise/Gangs of New York addendum below.]
Chartier, who is one of the Iraq War drama’s Oscar-nominated producers along with Greg Shapiro, director Kathryn Bigelow, and journalist-turned-screenwriter Mark Boal, sent an e-mail to some Academy members asking for their vote while taking a direct swipe at his film’s chief competitor, the blockbuster Avatar, directed, written, and co-produced by Bigelow’s former husband James Cameron.
Here’s Chartier’s e-mail, as posted by Pete Hammond in the Los Angeles Times blog Notes on a Season:
I hope all is well with you. I just wanted to write you and say I hope you liked Hurt Locker and if you did and want us to win, please tell (name deleted) and your friends who vote for the Oscars, tell actors, directors, crew members, art directors, special effects people, if everyone tells one or two of their friends, we will win and not a $500M film, we need independent movies to win like the movies you and I do, so if you believe The Hurt Locker is the best movie of 2010 [sic], help us!
I’m sure you know plenty of people you’ve worked with who are academy members whethere [sic] a publicist, a writer, a sound engineer, please take 5 minutes and contact them. Please call one or two persons, everything will help!
Nicolas Chartier Voltage Pictures
Note: Fox insists Avatar cost about $200 million, though some reports claim the 3D sci-fi adventure did cost as much as $500 million. To date, according to Box Office Mojo Avatar has taken in $690 million domestically and $1.755 billion internationally for a grand total of $2.465 billion. The Hurt Locker cost $15 million; it grossed $12.6 million at the North American box office and $5.9 million overseas for a total of $18.5 million. In other words, The Hurt Locker grossed less than 1 percent of Avatar‘s worldwide take – and Avatar is still doing great business.
Chartier has since apologized by way of another e-mail, in which he takes full responsibility for the vote-soliciting e-mail (implying he didn’t consult with anyone else), as posted on Tom O’Neil’s Gold Derby:
Last week I emailed you regarding the Oscars next week, generally, and “The Hurt Locker,” in particular.
My email to you was out of line and not in the spirit of the celebration of cinema that this acknowledgement is. I was even more wrong, both personally and professionally, to ask for your help in encouraging others to vote for the film and to comment on another movie. As passionate as I am about the film we made, this was an extremely inappropriate email to send, and something that the Academy strongly disapproves of in the rules.
My naivete, ignorance of the rules and plain stupidity as a first time nominee is not an excuse for this behavior and I strongly regret it. Being nominated for an Academy Award is the ultimate honor and I should have taken the time to read the rules.
I am emailing each person this very same statement asking to retract my previous email and requesting that you please disregard it.
I truly apologize to anyone I have offended.
best regards, Nicolas Chartier Voltage Pictures, LLC
Here’s the Academy rule regarding e-mail solicitations at Oscar time (curiously, I couldn’t find an item on that page specifically pertaining to direct mailings):
E-mail that is sent to Academy members must adhere to the same regulations concerning content and appearance as direct mailings that are delivered by the post office or via other delivery methods. It may not extol the merits of a film, an achievement or an individual. It may not contain quotes from reviews about a film or an achievement, nor should it refer to other honors or awards, past or present, that have been received by either the film or those involved in the production or distribution of the film. Except as permitted in Regulation #5, e-mail to members may not include mention of, or links to, any Web site that promotes any eligible film.
Here’s another Academy rule broken by Chartier’s e-mail:
Ads, mailings, Web sites or any other forms of communication that attempt to promote a particular film or achievement by casting a negative or derogatory light on a competing film or achievement are not permitted. In particular, any tactic that singles out “the competition” by name or title is expressly forbidden.
What if Chartier had called Academy members instead of e-mailing them? That would have been even worse.
Contacting Academy members by telephone to promote a film or achievement is expressly forbidden, even if such contact is in the guise of checking to make sure a screener was received. Telephone calls to verify members’ addresses are permitted, as long as no eligible films are discussed.
What kind of “punishment,” if any, Chartier will get remains unclear. The Hurt Locker will not be disqualified. That’s a given. But the producer may have to give up on his Oscar night tickets. Or he may not. In any case, The Hurt Locker is considered the top contender for the Best Picture Academy Award and it’s a lock for the Best Director Oscar. Here’s wondering why Chartier would find it necessary to resort to such a desperate-sounding vote-soliciting e-mail.
By the way, Gangs of New York ended up getting zero Oscars despite its 10 nominations. Don’t expect the same to happen to The Hurt Locker.
The Oscar 2010 drama will unfold on Sunday, March 7.
Addendum: Chartier’s vote-soliciting e-mail is absolutely nothing compared to what the people behind Gangs of New York did seven years ago. After all, Robert Wise was a former Academy president whose newspaper ad turned out to be have been written by publicist Murray Weissman, then working for Miramax’s Oscar campaign.
Photo: The Hurt Locker (Jonathan Olley / Summit Entertainment)
Tippi Hedren: Lion Sanctuary Founder to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
Tippi Hedren, the star of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at The Humane Society of the United States‘ 2010 Genesis Awards. Hedren, who will be getting her trophy from the hands of daughter Melanie Griffith, will be honored for dedicating more than 40 years to the protection of animals, especially big felines. The Genesis Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 20, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.
In 1983, Hedren set up the Roar Foundation’s Shambala Preserve, an 80-acre wildlife refuge in Acton, California, northeast of Los Angeles. Shambala is currently the home of 68 captive-born big cats, cast-offs from private owners, zoos and circuses. Additionally, in 2003 Hedren is credited with initiating and fighting for the passage in the US Congressof the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, which prohibits interstate commerce in exotic cats for the pet trade.
Hedren has served on the boards of The Wildlife Safari and The Elsa Wild Animal Appeal, and is currently president of the American Sanctuary Association and The Roar Foundation.
If the members of the Academy’s Board of Governors have any sense, they should seriously consider Tippi Hedren for the next Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Havana Marking’s Afghan Star, the United Kingdom’s submission for the 2010 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, will be shown on HBO beginning March 18 at 9 p.m. The film chronicles the obstacles faced by ordinary Afghanis who want to – you guessed it – become the top dog in the local version of American Idol.
The information below is from the film’s press release:
After 30 years of war and five devastating years of Taliban rule, pop culture is beginning to return to Afghanistan. Since 2005, millions have been tuning in to Tolo TV’s wildly popular “American Idol”-style series “Afghan Star.” And when viewers vote for their favorites via cell phone, it is the first encounter with the democratic process for many. The timely HBO documentary AFGHAN STAR offers a compelling window into the country’s tenuous, ongoing struggle for modernity when it debuts THURSDAY, MARCH 18 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT). The film won World Cinema Directing and World Cinema Audience Awards at the Sundance Film Festival’s 2009 World Documentary competition.
Other HBO playdates: March 22 (1:15 p.m., 9:00 p.m.), 25 (4:00 p.m.), 27 (10:15 a.m.) and 30 (10:00 a.m.), and April 4 (1:45 p.m.) and 6 (midnight)
HBO2 playdate: March 31 (8:00 p.m.)
Observing the Afghani people’s relationship to its pop culture, director Havana Marking’s moving documentary tells the dramatic stories of four young finalists: two men and two very brave women who risk their lives to sing. Marking gained unprecedented access into the lives of contestants, fans and producers to explore a pop culture phenomenon that departs from Afghanistan’s long-standing traditions.
AFGHAN STAR focuses on four of the show’s finalists:
Rafi – A handsome 19-year-old from Mazar-e-Sharif, Rafi is a hero in his hometown. Over the course of the competition, posters of him spring up across the city, with girls sneaking looks from behind their burkhas.
Lema – Of the 2,000 contestants, 25-year-old Lema, from Kandahar, is one of only three women. Coming from one of the most traditional and religious areas of the country, she neither dresses nor dances provocatively, for fear of her life. Still, Lema says she has no choice but to sing, feeling the $5,000 prize is her only hope for the future.
Hameed – A classically trained singer from the Hazara ethnic group, Hameed reaches the top ten, becoming a hero for his people. He is backed by a huge support network, encompassing poster campaigns, door-to-door canvassing and outdoor concerts.
Setara – A 21-year-old from Herat, Setara’s modern fashion, Bollywood make-up and stage moves make her a controversial figure. She is largely adored by young girls, and despised by older traditionalists.
When the competition is narrowed down to seven contestants, excitement in the country reaches a fever pitch. Events take a dramatic turn when one contestant, Setara, causes an uproar by dancing on stage, and worse, letting her head scarf fall to reveal her hair, actions that put her life in danger. Though the performance is tame by Western standards, her fellow competitors are shocked, and Setara herself is visibly shaken when she realizes what has happened. A week later, with the country in turmoil over the incident, a cabinet minister speaks out against the program and many say Setara “deserves to be killed.” She goes home to Herat, where her worried family awaits.
As the finale nears, the whole country is buzzing about Rafi and Hameed, the final contestants. Though Lema and Setara are no longer in the competition, several women in the audience giddily show their support by not wearing burkhas. After the Afghan Star is announced, Rafi and Hameed become household names. Lema, who also received death threats, lives under protection of the city government in Kandahar, and Setara returns to Kabul to record an album. Despite pressure from the government, Tolo TV continues to air “Afghan Star.”
AFGHAN STAR is produced and directed by Havana Marking; executive producers, Martin Herring, Mike Lerner and Jahid Mohseni; camera & sound, Phil Stebbing; editor, Ash Jenkins; original music score, Simon Russell.
James Cameron & Charles Pellegrino ‘The Last Train from Hiroshima’ Controversy
James Cameron, whose Avatar is doing incredible business worldwide, recently bought the film rights to Charles Pellegrino’s The Last Train from Hiroshima, a book recounting stories from survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which killed 70,000 people. Pellegrino’s tome also includes remembrances from US military personnel involved in the bombing. One problem: according to William J. Broad’s New York Times article “Doubts Raised on Book’s Tale of Atom Bomb,” crucial elements found in The Last Train from Hiroshima have as a source recollections by Joseph Fuoco, who has been denounced as an impostor by veterans, historians, and scientists.
In The Last Train from Hiroshima, Fuoco is featured as a man who, as a last-minute replacement, flew aboard Necessary Evil, one of two planes accompanying the Enola Gay on August 6, 1945. The family of the man Fuoco is supposedly to have replaced, flight engineer James R. Corliss, asserts that Fuoco’s story is false. So does another man who was on the plane with Corliss. Fuoco died in 2008.
According to Pellegrino’s publisher, his two books on the Titanic were used as sources by James Cameron. According to reports, future editions of The Last Train to Hiroshima will have passages related to Fuoco excised from them.
A description of the atomic mushroom cloud by James Corliss: “All the time it was churning all around, sometimes inside out, with red, yellow, purple and brown colors.” The Times articles explains that that happened as the “firestorm sucked up cars and buildings, bodies and dirt.”
Author Gregory Paul Williams (right) will be at Larry Edmunds Bookshop to sign copies of his book The Story of Hollywood (above, Marilyn Monroe) and to do a presentation on his book’s subject matter at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 26. As per the Larry Edmunds’ press release, Williams’ “show will be full of fun facts and photos about Hollywood the place.”
In addition to writing books, Williams has been a puppeteer and a puppet designer for films such as Men in Black, Men in Black II, and Child’s Play 3. Larry Edmunds is located at 6644 Hollywood Boulevard.
Also, on Saturday, February 27, the American Cinematheque & Da Camera Society will present “Clown Princes”: Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd shorts with live orchestra accompaniment. Larry Edmunds representatives will be present with photos, books and posters Tickets are available through the American Cinematheque or DaCamera.org.
New ‘Superman’ Movie: Christopher Nolan ‘Mentor’
Christopher Nolan will act as “godfather” of the next Superman movie, Nikki Finke and Mike Fleming report at Deadline Hollywood. According to the article, Superman 3.0 is in its very early stages. Nolan would likely act as an executive producer, but will probably not direct at least in part because he’s also involved in the third installment of the Batman franchise, which is currently being written by his brother Jonathan Nolan and Batman Begins co-writer David Goyer, who also wrote the story for The Dark Knight.
In the long and detailed Deadline Hollywood report, the authors also explain the many twists and turns along the path of Superman Returns – the 2006 release directed by Bryan Singer and starring Brandon Routh, considered a box office disappointment after making “only” $391 million worldwide. (It was an expensive movie.) Singer and Routh may – or may not – return for the new Superman, which will not be a sequel to the previous film. In fact, it’s supposed to be something else entirely.
Also in the Deadline Hollywood report, the thorny issue of rights to the Superman material. Rights will revert to the heirs of Superman co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in the very near future.
Photo: Warner Bros.
Directed by Philipp Stölzl from a screenplay by Stölzl, Christoph Silber, Johannes Naber, and Rupert Henning, the stunningly shot mountain-climbing drama North Face is currently playing in the Los Angeles area at Encino’s Town Center 5, West LA’s Royal Theatre, and Pasadena’s Playhouse 7, in addition to Irvine’s University Town Center. The adventure drama stars Benno Fürmann, Johanna Wokalek, Florian Lukas, Simon Schwarz, Georg Friedrich, and Ulrich Tukur (one of the leads in The White Ribbon).
A tale entwining melodrama, Nazis, Aryan superiority ideology, mind-blowing vistas, and some pretty awesome stunts, North Face won the best screenplay and best cinematography (Kolja Brandt) awards from the German Film Critics Association, and best cinematography and sound awards from the German Film Academy.
The synopsis below is from the North Face press release:
“Based on a true story, NORTH FACE is a gripping adventure drama about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps. In 1936, Nazi propaganda urges German Alpinists to conquer the unclimbed north face of the Swiss massif, the Eiger, bringing two reluctant climbers, Toni Kurz (BENNO FÜRMANN) and Andi Hinterstoisser (FLORIAN LUKAS), to begin their daring ascent and attempt to scale the infamous rock face, often called the Murder Wall.
“While preparing themselves at the foot of the North Face, Toni and Andi unexpectedly run into Luise (JOHANNA WOKALEK), the early love of Toni. Now a journalist, she has come with her boss Arau (ULRICH TUKUR), a loyal Nazi, to report about the first ascent. Toni begins the ascent of the North Face with Andi, closely followed by two Austrians Willy Angerer (SIMON SCHWARZ) and Edi Rainer (GEORG FRIEDRICH). All goes well at first as both rope teams make good headway but then the climbers lose their advantage over the mountain and the race against time and the forces of nature begins.”
Also, Milan Records has digitally released the North Face soundtrack. Austrian composer Christian Kolonovits created the symphonic score. For more information, go to http://www.milanrecords.com.
Photos: Music Box Films.
The British Film Institute has announced that the new initiative London Film Day will feature the World Public Premiere of Susanna White’s comedy fantasy Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, starring Emma Thompson (who also wrote the screenplay adaptation), Ralph Fiennes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans, Maggie Smith, and Daniel Mays. This BFI London Film Festival and Film London partnership will offer 15 simultaneous public premieres across London on Sunday 21 March. Tickets for each public premiere will be £5 for adults and £1 for children.
Another BFI announcement: The 2010 BFI London Film Festival dates have been announced. The Festival will run from 13–28 October, 2010. According to the festival’s press release, “the programming team are busy scouring the globe for the best in new world cinema for our forthcoming programme, and are currently at the Berlinale, having been in Sundance earlier this year.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and 82nd Academy Awards production designer David Rockwell (above, with Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman) have unveiled the set for the 2010 Oscar show. This is Rockwell’s second consecutive year as the designer of the Oscar telecast set.
As per the Academy’s press release, “light and movement, the most basic components of moviemaking, will be integrated into this year’s sets to create an immersive, transformative environment. Rockwell Group has reprised one of the most dazzling elements of the 81st Academy Awards design – the Swarovski Crystal Curtain – but with new and unexpected features for an even greater theatrical effect. The overall design is intended to evoke a classic but modern glamour, with white, platinum, topaz and smoky bronze hues.
“This year’s set also features three circular, revolving platforms that work in combination with rotating LED panels and architectural metalwork screens for film projection.”
The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the United States, it’ll be televised live by ABC.
Photos: Greg Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, have announced the three teams of finalists in the 2010 Oscar Correspondent Contest. The three teams will head to Los Angeles for Oscar Week as they compete for a spot on the red carpet at the 2010 Academy Awards. The finalists are (listed in alphabetical order by university):
- Chapman University, Orange, CA – Rachel Berry (anchor) and Christian Hartnett (videographer)
- Emerson College, Boston, MA – Terry Stackhouse (anchor) and Zach Cusson (videographer)
- Florida A&M University, Tallahassee – Brandon McCaskill (anchor) and Kiarra Hart (videographer)
As per the Academy’s press release, “new videos from each finalist team, along with the original entry videos, are now posted online at http://oscars.mtvu.com for a final round of online polling through Tuesday, March 2 at 2 p.m. PT.
“All three teams will cover Academy Awards pre-events in Los Angeles, including the Animated Feature Symposium, Foreign Language Film Award photo op, the Make-Up Artists and Hairstylists Symposium and the Governors Ball preview. Teams will post their video coverage of these events online at http://oscars.mtvu.com for the public to view.
“The Grand Prize team will be revealed on Saturday, March 6, at an Academy press conference. The anchor and videographer will be awarded a spot on the red carpet for the 82nd Academy Awards arrivals as well as access to the backstage press rooms. The two runner-up teams will receive bleacher seats along the red carpet and admission to an Oscar viewing party.
“The three finalist teams beat out seven other teams of college journalists as selected by the Academy, mtvU, and by votes. The Oscar Correspondent Contest was open to teams of two college students, one anchor and one videographer, residing in the United States. For a complete list of rules and regulations, please visit http://oscars.mtvu.com.”
The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the United States, it’ll be televised live by ABC.